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AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay the launch of the new 5G spectrum due to concerns about possible interference with aircraft security systems.
The planned launch of the C-band spectrum, which consists of frequencies between 3.7 and 4.2 gigahertz, was scheduled for December 5. However, the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned that use of the band could interfere with certain automated cabin systems. .
According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T agreed to postpone its launch until January 5, while Verizon said it would delay its launch by about a month. Both carriers have agreed to work with the FAA to address any concerns.
Before AT&T and Verizon’s decision to delay, the FAA planned to issue a mandate that could limit the use of cabin systems by pilots, such as one that helps land planes in bad weather. Those limits could result in disruptions to both passenger and cargo flights.
In a joint statement with the Federal Communications Commission, the FAA confirmed the voluntary delay of the launch on Thursday.
“Aviation technology and safety leadership are national priorities and, with today’s announcement, these companies have demonstrated their commitment to both,” the agency wrote.
C-band is a suitable frequency for expanding 5G coverage in the US Some carriers, like Verizon, have the spectrum to address the growing demand for high-speed internet access over 5G.
Several countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, and Europe, have deployed 5G networks with spectrum in the C-band range. no reports of interference of those regions, involving aircraft instruments.